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The American Rescue Plan extends the tax credit for voluntary provision of leave through September 30, 2021 and makes related changes. These provisions of the relief bill include the following:
- Extends the tax credits available for employers who voluntarily provide FFCRA leave from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021.
- Provides that the tax credits are available for paid sick leave and paid family leave provided for the additional following qualifying reasons:
- the employee is obtaining immunization (vaccination) related to COVID-19;
- the employee is recovering from any injury, disability, illness or condition related to such vaccination; or
- the employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test or medical diagnosis for COVID-19 (or their employer has requested such a test or diagnosis).
- Adds non-discrimination rules to provide that no tax credit is available if the employer, in determining availability of the paid leave, discriminates against highly compensated employees, full-time employees, or employees on the basis of tenure with the employer. This provision appears designed to compel employers who make the decision to voluntarily provide leave do so in a uniform manner, without discriminating against certain categories of workers.
- Re-sets the 10-day limit for the tax credit for paid sick leave under the FFCRA beginning April 1, 2021. As a result, an employer could voluntarily provide an additional 10 days of FFCRA paid sick leave beginning April 1, 2021, and would be eligible for a tax credit for doing so. But employers are not required to do s
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired December 21, 2020. Some elements of the Act remain in place via extensions or through new laws, such as the American Rescue Plan. For information on FFCRA check out the Department of Labor's FAQ page.
Oregon Paid Sick Leave
As news of COVID-19/coronavirus continues to grow, you should know that all Oregonians can access protected time off from work. The law requires it. Employers should consider steps to address employee fears, prevent onsite outbreaks, or respond if one occurs.
COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave
This program accepts applications for leave that occurred prior to June 30, 2021. The program will remain open for past applications until September 30, 2021 or until funds are exhausted.
The Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board established the COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program in July 2020 to help bridge the gap left by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. The program is designed to assist those whose employer is not required to provide sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.
The $30 million program was established with money received from the federal government earlier this year to help Oregon respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides a $120 per-day payment to workers who need to quarantine/isolate due to COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, but do not qualify for COVID-19-related paid sick leave or do not have access to COVID-19-related time off. This program has limited funding and will expire when funds are exhausted or on December 31, 2020, whichever comes first.
To be eligible for the program, you must meet all the following requirements:
- Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.
- Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected or have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.
- Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
- Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
- Are not applying for unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
- Are not applying for workers’ compensation benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
- Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
- Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.
- Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.
- Can claim only one quarantine period.
Please visit Oregon State COVID-19 Paid Leave for more information, to check eligibility and to apply for this program.